It’s not hard to find relics of industrial revolution in Hamburg, whose canals are still lined with the warehouses that chugged the city into prosperity in the 19th century. While trades may succumb to new technologies, every now and then a hotel comes along that marries the best of old and new.
In its former life, Gastwerk was first a coal warehouse, then a gasworks. Stepping into the lobby, which once stored 5,000 tonnes of coal, the ceiling soars five storeys skyward, exposed brickwork, steel bars and whitewashed walls lending an industrial feel, but this is a 21st century design hotel, as emphasised by the free-built lift, which zips up to 141 loft rooms and suites. Their dark-wood floorboards and minimalist design give the feel of a Brooklyn abode, though the views are unmistakably German.
Rattan-woven furniture and steel lamps decorate the rooms and, while outside its latticed windows the landscape is now firmly residential, the relentless to and fro of Hamburg’s public-transport network will lead you to the bright lights of Sternschanze and St Pauli in no time – and bring you back to a silent night’s sleep, in a building whose past ties seamlessly to its present.
Gastwerk Hotel, Hamburg
Industrial design. From €120